I have taken a short break from Manufactured Spending (and apparently from blogging as well). I wanted to let my money “shake out” and see if I was still in the black when it landed.
I have an interesting system for keeping track of my MS in iBank. If you are familiar with iBank, you know you can keep track of multiple accounts in the register. In my iBank register I have my “Checking”, 2 “Savings” and then 23 credit card accounts. Yeah…it’s a lot to keep track of. But I have a system! When I make a purchase I enter it into both the “Checking” account and the “Credit Card” account. For example, if I go to Target and buy $25.68 worth of Halloween candy (just sayin’) using my Citi Executive 2 (I have 3 of them), I will come home and enter $25.68 as a WITHDRAWAL in my checking account in iBank. On the “Payee” line I will enter “Exec 2”, which is my code for that particular card. I have codes for every card that differentiate if they are mine or my husband’s and what version of the card they are.
Then I will go to the “Exec 2” account in iBank and list Target as the payee and list the amount as a WITHDRAWAL.
When my Citi Executive 2 bill comes, I go through my iBank Checking account and confirm the withdrawals with “Exec 2” as the payee and then I DELETE them from the Checking account register. I then go through the Exec 2 account and “clear” all the charges that appear on the bills. Once that is done, I deduct the total amount of the bill in my Checking account as a Payment to “Citi Exec 2” and ADD the total amount of the bill as a “Deposit” in the “Exec 2” iBank account.
And now its even.
But can you see where this is going in regard to what iBank thinks is my total net worth?
At the bottom of the iBank screen is a “Summary” of your net worth. When I decided to take a break, mine said this:
Money you have: $2,432.22
Money you owe: $7,247.33
Yikes! Yet when I logged into my Credit Union checking account, it showed I had about $13,000 in there!
I decided it was time to take a break, pay off all the bills and see where I stood financially. I’m happy to report that all is well. All the credit card bills are paid off and I am still a few thousand in the black. Shwew!
Now that the Cashback portals are back to offering payouts on American Express gift cards, I may get back into it. The payouts aren’t great right now, 1.5%, but it’s better than nothing. My property tax bill is due at the end of this month. I hate to pay out a couple thousand dollars and not earn miles for it! But my Bluebird account is empty so I would have to make several trips to Walmart in the next week or so to get enough in there to pay the bill. And you know how I hate going to Walmart!
My Blogging Break
I got a bit disillusioned with the whole Miles and Points blogging thing when I noticed a trend among the “Big Boy” blogs. (TPG, MMS, MP, FTG…you know the ones) I mean, how many times and in how many different ways can they push Chase cards? I know it’s their bread & butter, but come on! Is that what it takes to be successful in this world? I wanted to share my experiences of free travel with a child! Not pound you on the head with a Chase Ink! But yet, that’s what these guys are doing. And they are wildly successful (in this limited world).
You know the Miles and Points blogs I enjoy the most? And the ones that I think offer the best information? Travel is Free and Hack My Trip. I strongly suggest checking them out. They focus more on how to travel for free, rather than shoving credit card links down your throat.
I still want you to read my blog, of course. And I am going to work harder at writing and sharing my experiences with you. I still love to travel and I still love to travel for free! We just got back from a fabulous week at Beaches Turks and Caicos! There is nothing free (or even cheap) about Beaches! It’s a splurge that I feel is worth every penny!
Trip report coming soon! Promise!
So…thanks for coming back and checking out my post. Tell me…how do you keep track of your manufactured spending? Do you have an easier, less complicated method than I do? I’d love to hear about it!